On Friday I looked into the history of the 60th overall pick in recent NHL Drafts given that the first pick that the Winnipeg Jets has coming up in the 2018 Draft on June 22 and 23 is number 60.
The next pick they own after that is the 91st overall pick so let’s see if the history of that pick is any better. (Spoiler: As you might imagine, it’s not.)
2017 Draft: Anaheim selects center Jack Badini
The Ducks might have a sniper diamond in the rough with Badini who in his first year with Harvard was named to the NCAA-ECAC All-Rookie Team with 10 goals and 17 points in 33 games played. He also has some international experience playing in Team USA’s World Junior Summer Showcase last August. He’s a definite project for the Ducks going forward as they expect him to play another year or two in college before being moved on to the AHL.
2016 Draft: Edmonton selects defenseman Filip Berglund
The first of three Oiler picks we’ll talk about here and maybe the only one of the three that has any promise for an NHL future. The Oilers may have done really well for themselves with this pick as Berglund is noted for being a tall, strong defender who also is a fluid skater that can play both ends of the ice pretty well. This past season with Skellefteå AIK of the Swedish Hockey League, he had three goals and 13 points in 44 games played. There is hope that he could develop into a power play quartback type defender although that may have to wait as he is still committed to playing in Sweden for one more year.
2015 Draft: Chicago selects defenseman Dennis Gilbert
Gilbert just finished up his time with Notre Dame in the NCAA – where he collected six goals and 42 points in 116 college games – and signed his three year entry level deal with the Blackhawks back in April. He will spend his time next season with the Rockford Ice Hogs in the AHL. Gilbert is known for being fairly decent with the puck and can contribute on offense, but his strength seems to lie in being a hard hitting shut down defender and his overall game and skating ability should continue to develop at a pro level.
2014 Draft: Edmonton selects defenseman William Lagesson
After spending the last couple of seasons working on his game with Djurgårdens IF of the SHL, Lagesson will come back to North America – his two year loan having expired this past season – and both he and the Oilers will give him a shot at trying to crack the pro lineup. Lagesson – known mostly as a strong, physical stay-at-home type defenseman that plays with a bit of an edge – signed his ELC with the Oil last year. For what it’s worth, HockeysFuture.com speaks well of his potential:
Lagesson is a physical player who relishes one-on-one battles and can be extremely difficult to play against for opposition forwards. Still developing as a prospect, he has the height and demeanor of a prototypical shutdown defenseman. While his physical play is the most noticeable part of his game, Lagesson has a decent first pass and will jump up into the rush from time to time. He is a good skater for his size and has the makings of a good two-way defender.
2013 Draft: Winnipeg selects right winger J.C. Lipon
Now here is a familiar name and face! Of the five players listed here, Lipon is the only one who has had a taste – albeit very brief in 2015-16 for nine whole games – of NHL action. Lipon has been a strong middle six forward for the Manitoba Moose (and St. Johns Ice Caps) over the last five seasons. In 331 career AHL games, Lipon has 56 goals and 165 points, but Lipon isn’t overly big but he is a scrapy, hard nosed player to play against who will not fear anyone even if they happen to be much larger .
Unfortunately his offensive skills just haven’t developed like the Jets would have hoped and the Jets have a good stable ot scrappy, agitating players who can be better with the puck. The Jets own his RFA rights, so it’ll be interesting to see what they plan for him going forward.
It gets tougher in the third round
While winning hockey is fun, it also doesn’t lend itself to good draft position and the Jets great run this past season drops them into a draft position where they will have to rely on good scouting and some luck.
Again, it’s not impossible to find future NHLers in this spot in the draft. Florida’s 102nd overall pick in the 2015 draft, Denis Malgin has put together a couple of strong seasons already. Johnny Gaudreau was a wise Calgary Flames pick at 104 in the 2011 Draft. There is some hope for some of the more recent picks and as we’ve seen with Lipon, projects await teams that pick around this time.
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